Changes in pre-service teachers' values, sense of agency, motivation and consumption practices: A case study of an education for sustainability course

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Teacher education has a critical role to play as people around the world strive to reach the Sustainable Development goals. Education for sustainability (EfS) aims to motivate and prepare educators to create a more sustainable future through education. The purpose of this case study was to explore pre-service teachers' changes in their values, sense of agency, consumption practices and motivation after participation in a required EfS course. Students were enrolled in a hybrid course that conveyed content through digital stories followed by reflections, in-class discussions and activities. Ninety-one undergraduate students completed pre- and post-course surveys. Students reported significant changes in their beliefs about the relevance of sustainability education, attitudes toward sustainable development, self-efficacy, locus of control and sustainable consumption practices. Qualitative analysis of an open-ended question served to triangulate quantitative findings. Results support the need and potential for EfS courses for educators, particularly in the United States where such courses are not typically required or even offered at most universities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number155
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 29 2018



  • Consumption practices
  • Education for sustainability
  • Higher education
  • Motivation
  • Pre-service teachers
  • Sense of agency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Cite this